UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Prime Minister David Cameron says Yorkshire ‘hate’ jibe was a ‘total joke’ and he has been absolved - by Dickie Bird

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Prime Minister David Cameron has said it was a ‘total joke’ after his comments about Yorkshire today sparked controversy.

The Conservative leader, who was in Leeds, apparently left his microphone on while rehearsing a speech, which recorded the comments.

Mr Cameron reportedly said: “We just thought people in Yorkshire hated everyone else - we didn’t realise they hated each other so much.”

Mr Cameron was in Leeds to talk about devolution, and the economy.

Authorities across Yorkshire submitted scores of bids for devolution - where extra powers and funding are transferred from Whitehall - last week.

Sheffield City Region submitted one bid, but in the rest of Yorkshire there are several that overlap.

Prime Minister David Cameron makes a speech in Leeds, where he was expected to frame the Conservatives as the "progressive" party which is seeking to spread opportunity for all and increase social mobility.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 11, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Cameron. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire

Prime Minister David Cameron makes a speech in Leeds, where he was expected to frame the Conservatives as the "progressive" party which is seeking to spread opportunity for all and increase social mobility. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 11, 2015. See PA story POLITICS Cameron. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire

Now Mr Cameron has said the comment was a ‘total joke.’

He told BBC’s Test Match Special: “I said to an aide that I thought Yorkshiremen had it in for other people rather than each other, clearly as a joke.”

Mr Cameron sat with two Yorkshire cricketing legends to watch the match, including Barnsley legend Dickie Bird.

The prime minister said: “I’ve been absolved by two of the greatest living Yorkshiremen; Geoffrey Boycott and Dickie Bird both agreed it was a joke.”

However some Sheffield residents did not find the comments amusing.

Aly Young said: “This shows this Government knows absolutely nothing about the north. Shambles.”

Tommy Mee added: “Just goes to show what the Tory hierarchy really think of us. Why any one would vote him and his cronies again is beyond me.”

But Tony Littler said: “Seems like it’s been taken out of context. I think it’s funny. Luckily for him we Yorkshire folk can take a joke.”